In this wasteland, I am the one who runs from both the scary desert psychos and the really scary desert psychos. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Avalanche Studios’ upcoming Mad Max game allows to become the Road Warrior like never before, featuring a fully-customizable car and a skill tree for Max himself. No stone is left unturned as far as detail in this post-apocalypse simulation. I managed to get my hands on a demo of the game, which is exactly what you want from something with the branding Mad Max.
The most important thing at your disposal in the Mad Max universe is your car, so to start the demo I was given a few options to upgrade mine. I journey into a camp, taking on a few enemies, and managed to scrap together some supplies and a new car body. Taking all that together, I got my Magnum Opus supped up with a brand new ramming bumper.
Taking a look at the map for the game, which is gigantic to say the least, I made my way toward a convoy path in order to test out the vehicular combat. Besides camps and micro-cities, one of the things you’ll find in the Mad Max game is the routes that war parties drive on. After finding the route, and locating the war party itself, I went into action.
The Magnum Opus is equipped with a number of weapons: side flamethrowers (which will eat up your gas if you’re not careful), a harpoon, the explosive thunderstick, and Max’s traditional sawed off double barrel shotgun. One of the great things about the game is that when aiming your weapons, the game slows down, allowing for precision aiming. Want to rip off the bumper of the car? You can do that. Want to separate the tires from the car and leave the driver stranded? Go for it. You can also do what I (accidentally) did and target the driver, ripping into him with the harpoon and dragging him out of his car and through the dirt. In case it wasn’t clear, the game retains the over-the-top violence of the film series.
After burning, blowing up, and ripping apart cars from the Magnum Opus, it was time to explore the map a little and get into the hand-to-hand combat of the game. I approached a nearby camp and engaged the inhabitants, taking a few blows to the face myself before taking them all out. Shocker, the shotgun is very effective. One super clever thing about Mad Max is how the health system is handled. Instead of just slowly regenerating lost health as most games these days do, Max can replenish it by drinking water. The trick here is actually finding water to store in your canteen, because it’s scarce.
It would be super easy in a Mad Max game to just have abundant resources at every turn to keep the player fully stocked, but that’s not the case. In keeping with the themes of the series, there is very little around. You can go to every camp you find and sometimes you’ll come up empty-handed, sometimes you’ll find a giant wrench, or maybe a puddle of dirty water.
Mad Max: Fury Road is far and away my favorite movie of the year, so I was a slightly apprehensive about the upcoming game living up to the gargantuan expectations of the most recent film. I think that visually they’ve really nailed this world. It’s vast, unforgiving landscape is both beautiful and terrifying in its execution. Though the controls do take some getting used to, the game is a heck of a lot of fun. If you’ve always wanted to become the Road Warrior, this is your ticket to Valhalla.